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Letter: Obermueller listen to the people he serves

To the editor,

It’s August. That’s called “dog-days” in Washington, where people in Congress go home to meet the people in town hall meetings, listen to ideas and complaints and gear up to run for re-election.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case in the “safe” 2nd District in Minnesota, where the entrenched incumbent doesn’t like to hold public meetings, and many people say he’s likely to get re-elected anyhow, right? Don’t tell that to Mike Obermueller. The Eagan attorney gave the incumbent a closer run for his money in 2012 than any of his predecessor candidates, and he’s back for a run that could be a breakthrough this year.

Obermueller says he believes in public meetings, and his record in the state legislature confirms that. He says that hearing what constituents are thinking in a public format is a good way to ensure you’re carrying the message from the people to the lawmaking body. Obermueller won the 2nd District primary election recently, and he says he’s ready for a re-match of the 2012 contest, even if it’s an off-year election. Traditionally the non-presidential party does better in non-presidential years, so a lot of people are betting on Republicans this year.

That includes the Koch brothers, the energy company magnates who sponsored Governor Scott Walker in neighboring Wisconsin in 2010 and later when he ran in a recall election. The reclusive billionaires own businesses up and down the oil chain, and their money is being felt in a variety of races up and down the ticket in Minnesota as well. Their political groups have patriotic names like Freedom Partners, The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and Generation Opportunity. Freedom reigns except where it involves the choke-hold they have on much of the oil in Minnesota.

Mike Obermueller says each of us has a better shot at success when we’ve had a good education. For him that means enough funding for public schools so that districts don’t have to depend on raising tax levies which impact property taxes. He says seniors and others on fixed incomes are needlessly hurt by property tax increases. He says promises broken by the incumbent about funding special education have put our school districts under stress. Resulting classrooms with over 40 students are not the way to prepare our kids for global competition.

Obermueller says we have long needed work in the U.S. military to prevent the epidemic of sexual assaults which happen there. Neglect of this problem by the U.S. House of Representatives has been unconscionable.

I like Mike Obermueller’s openness to public meetings, his concern for our people in the military, and his commitment to our kids in school. People in the 2nd District are ready for a change.

Cathy Johnson,